Do natural herbs add new ways to confront “Corona”?

Do natural herbs add new ways to confront “Corona”?
Do natural herbs add new ways to confront “Corona”?

Do natural herbs add new ways to confront “Corona”?

A European study discovers the “efficacy” of a compound with Indian pepper

Sunday – 29 Jumada II 1444 AH – January 22, 2023 AD

Herbal tea is one of the tools to combat “Corona” in China (archive)


Cairo: Hazem Badr


At a time when the new Corona virus is spreading among the Chinese population greatly and increasing the rates of drug shortages, many are resorting to ancient traditional medicines, based on medicinal herbs, to fight the aches and pains of the virus. This comes, while a lot of scientific research has started to search in ancient medicine, for the benefits of some herbs and natural ingredients to treat the virus, and the latest of these attempts was to find an effective compound in Indian pepper.
And a joint Portuguese-British research team found that piperlongumin (PL) compound extracted from long pepper, the most widely used natural component in Indian medical systems, has a strong antiviral effect in treating the emerging corona virus in experimental mice. In a study published Friday in the ACS Central Science journal, the research team from the British University of Cambridge and the Institute of Molecular Medicine in Portugal found that “a compound extracted from long pepper delays the development of the disease and reduces lung inflammation in a mouse model that simulates corona infection.” novelty in humans.
The researchers tested the compound in mice infected with the “alpha”, “delta” and “omicron” variants of the virus, and the treatment was effective in reducing the amount of virus in the three different variants.
While the researchers stress, in a report published by the official website of the Institute of “Molecular Medicine” in Portugal, in conjunction with the publication of the study, that their results need to be transferred to clinical trials to confirm them, the situation in China seems different, where there is a great popularity – currently – for some natural products, which It has not been subjected to scientific studies yet, according to a report published Friday by the French Press Agency.
The report says, “There are many Chinese people who rely on (herbal tea) in the fight against Corona, made from a type of Chinese cinnamon (cassia twig), peony roots, licorice, jujube and ginger.
The agency quoted a Chinese citizen, Yu Li, 38, as saying, “The fever associated with the disease subsided after consuming the drink that our family used extensively.”
According to many like Yu, traditional Chinese medicine has fewer side effects and works more slowly to regulate the body, as opposed to Western medicines that “fight symptoms but rarely target the source of disease,” they said in the report.
But Ben Cowling, head of the Department of Epidemiology at the School of Public Health at the University of Hong Kong, stressed the importance of such natural products undergoing clinical trials, and told the agency: “We do not know whether these treatments are effective or not, because they have not been studied in clinical trials, nor I exclude the possibility that some of them will be effective, but I also do not exclude the possibility that some of them will be harmful.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has promoted traditional Chinese medicine since the beginning of the epidemic, and health officials in Beijing have praised its “important role” in combating the “Corona” virus, but the “World Health Organization” does not recommend these treatment options, and its recommendations include relying only on drugs. Chemicals that have been subjected to the usual procedures for the approval of medicines.
Hossam El-Din Mahmoud, a teacher of pharmaceutical sciences at the Egyptian Mansoura University, repeats what came in the global health recommendation, because these drugs have been tried, and their side effects have become known, and the patients who can benefit from them, and others who must avoid them, which is not achieved in natural products. that are being promoted.
At the same time, however, he stresses that “the door should not be completely closed to benefiting from natural products, provided that the components extracted from them are subjected to scientific study, to pass through the recognized stages, as happened in the study of Indian pepper.”
He added, in statements to Asharq Al-Awsat, that “the virus tends to be endemic, which means that it will continue to adapt to the human host over time, and this means that it is necessary to search for antivirals that target the host cells, instead of the virus.” The compounds found in natural products may be an appropriate solution, provided they are subjected to scientific study.

the scientist

The new Corona virus



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